General Regulations

  • Opening burning that is offensive or objectionable because of smoke emissions or when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fire hazardous shall be prohibited
  • The Fire Department has the authority to extinguish any fire, permitted or not, that creates, or adds to a hazardous or objectionable situation. Any repeated calls for service to a particular location may require that the fire be extinguished.
  • Permits are required for pit burns and bonfires
  • Bonfires must be at least 50 feet from any structure and provisions shall be made to prevent the fire from spreading within 50 feed of any structure. Bonfires can be no larger than 5 feet x 5 feed x 5 feet
  • Recreational fire must be at least 25 feet from any structure or combustible material. These fires can be no larger than three feet wide by two feet tall. Anything larger will be considered a bonfire.
  • Portable outdoor fire fireplaces (commercially sold units) must be at least 15 feet from any structure or anything combustible
  • Fires must be attended at all times and the means to extinguish a fire must be readily available for instant use. An extinguisher with the minimum rating of A and/or other approved equipment such as dirt, sand, water barrels, garden hoses, or water trucks shall be available for instant use.
  • Hot embers and ashes shall be thoroughly extinguished when the fire will no longer be attended and prior to disposal in a non-combustible container

Pit Burning, Bonfires, Agricultural Burning & Fires at Special Events

Pit burns, bonfires, and fires at special events require an application to be filled out and a permit issued by the Fire Prevention Bureau.

Agricultural Burning

Agricultural burning requires the applicant to first obtain approval from the Virginia Beach Department of Agriculture. After obtaining approval from the Department of Agricultural, Fire Prevention will schedule a site visit to verify information on the application. All applicants must also sign the stipulations that have been outlined by the Fire Prevention Bureau.

Pit Burns

All pit burn operations must be approved by Fire Prevention prior to operating. After an application has been submitted a site visit will be performed to verify that all information is correct and that all permit conditions are met.

All Pit Burns and Agricultural Burns can only burn natural debris on the permitted property. Applicants are not allowed to accept debris from other locations. These practices are grounds to have any approved permit revoked.

Please contact the Fire Prevention Bureau with any questions